Friday, November 17, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/10 - 11/16)

Friday (11/10) Today was the observation of Veteran's Day for Adrian so he had off so we all got to sleep in an extra half hour.  We got up and got ready for school and Adrian drove AJ to school.  The boys all had Veteran's Day assemblies in school so they wore their Cub Scout uniforms.  Then we both dropped the other boys off and headed out for a day date.  We went to Kohl's to do some shopping and then headed to Easton for our monthly wine tasting.  They have a limited edition chocolate wine and it's delicious!  We picked up our two bottles and headed out to get lunch.  We decided to try someplace new and went to Ted's Montana Grill.  It was just OK for both of us.  The food was good, but the service and atmosphere was lacking.  We probably won't be back.

Since lunch took so long (due to the poor service) we had to head right to school to pick up AJ.  He was excited to tell us that he got to escort Veterans to the cafeteria before their assembly today and that he got to sit with his two buddies from scouts for the assembly.  We headed to Starbucks to get our BOGO holiday drinks and then finally headed home.  Adrian left to go wait in line for the other boys while I got a few things done around the house.  We hung out with the boys for a few hours, had a quick dinner and then got ready for date number two of the day.  We went to go see the play "Waitress" and it was fantastic!  The songs, story, actors, set - everything top to bottom was great.  I'm thankful we were able to go see it!  The boys had a great night playing with their babysitter and we got a very good report from her when we got home.
Saturday (11/11) Happy Veteran's Day!  Thank you to all who have served or continue to serve our country and also for all of those who support them.  We had a very lazy start to our day, sleeping in, video games and then some OSU football.  Then Adrian and AJ got ready and headed to a local park for a flag retirement ceremony with his Cub Scout pack.  The boys all did a great job of honoring our country and being reverent during the ceremony.
While they were at the flag retirement, I got dinner ready and fed myself and the other boys.  They came home and grabbed a quick dinner and then Adrian and I headed out to our local high school to see one of the boys babysitters in the high school version of "Midsummer Nights Dream."  We enjoyed the play, the kids were all really funny and talented.  Ashley did great as a fairy, we are glad we were able to support her and her family tonight.
Sunday (11/12)  We all slept in and were very sluggish when we got up.  We had planned to go to first service for church but we just didn't get moving in time.  So we got a few things done and then headed out as a family to second service.  After church, I ran home and had a quick lunch before heading back to the church to work as the facility rep for the afternoon.  I got to listen to and observe square dancing for a few hours, it looked a like a ton of fun!  While I was there, Adrian worked around the house and helped AJ finish up his boat for the raingutter regatta next weekend.  When I got home, we suffered thru the boring Jets loss while eating dinner and then watched the Cowboys lose as well.  It was not our best football weekend.  It's become our normal Sunday to watch football while the boys watch video games in our room.  Adrian and I finished everything we needed to do around the house and had a relaxing night.  Early bedtime for all to be ready to start the week fresh & rested!  It's our last full week of work/school for the next month!

Monday (11/13) The week started early with Zak waking us up at 5am.  He and I hung out watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and playing King of Tokyo while AJ got ready for school and Daniel slept.  It felt like a really long morning but it was finally time to drop everyone off to school and start working around the house.  I took a break mid-morning to go into Zak's class and volunteer.  I reviewed shapes with all of the kids, it was quick & fun and I got to see everyone which is always nice.  Some of the kids get upset if I don't "call on" them in a certain week.

After volunteering, I came home and got dinner ready and did a few more things around the house.  Then I picked everyone up from school and headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  I had a fun class with everyone and it felt good to sweat!  We headed home for a quick dinner and then I was off to Cub Scouts with Zak while Adrian stayed home and helped AJ finish up his Scouts homework.  Zak and I had a fun time practicing some of the Scout things that he needs to learn for his Bobcat next year and then making turkeys with each feather stating what he is thankful for.  After Scouts we came home, had snack, show and bed.  Hoping for a better night of sleep tonight!
Tuesday (11/14) Well, didn't get as great of a night of sleep as I wanted since Zak came in and kicked me out of my room around 11:00 last night.  I slept in the spare room which isn't the most comfortable but I survived.  We all got up and moving and out the door to work and school on time.  I wasn't teaching this morning because I had substitute teacher training all morning.  I headed there and spent the morning there getting a few tips on subbing and also did my employment verification.  I thought I would be done after this but sadly I still have a few more things to do at home.  I'm really hoping to finish up this week.

After training I drove to meet a friend to pick up a Tupperware order and then headed to Kroger to do some grocery shopping.  After that it was time to get home and get the boys from school.  We hung out for a bit and then got dinner together because I had to work at the church and AJ had Cub Scouts at night.  Soon after Adrian got home from work, I left and had a wonderful time at church visiting with a lot of friends while I worked.  AJ had a good Scout meeting and I picked him up after work.  We came home and watched some TV before heading to bed.  It was a long day and I'm really hoping for some sleep tonight.

Wednesday (11/15) Last night was much better sleeping, Zak didn't come in at all!  We all got up and out to work and school on time and then I came home to work around the house.  I had a bunch of things from yesterday to catch up on so I started with those.  I also baked a few dozen cookies to donate to the YMCA homeless shelter for the holidays.  As always the day flew by and before I knew it, it was time to get everyone from school.  I picked them all up and we headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  After class we headed home to have dinner quickly with Adrian before he headed out to Bible study for the night.  We were all worn out tonight so we just watched some TV and then got ready for bed while he was gone.  Then Adrian and I watched Survivor and headed to bed as well.  This last "full" week of stuff is exhausting!

Thursday (11/16) We all got up and ready for work and school and got out on time.  Daniel had a rough start including losing a glove (which I found later) and me forgetting to put his homework folder back in his bag (I dropped it off on time).  It was a bit of a crazy morning but we pulled it together and had a good day.  After I got everyone out, I headed to my Silver Sneakers class and then to run a bunch of errands.  I dropped off cookies I was donating, bought apples at Lynd's market and did some of my grocery shopping.  I also had a long stop at the bank which prevented me from finishing my grocery shopping.  I got home and picked the boys up and got ready for my Zumba class.  When Adrian got home from work, I headed out to class while he hung with the boys.  After class the rest of the night was pretty relaxing, I'm always worn out after teaching 3 classes on Thursdays. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 10/27 - 11/2)

Friday (10/27) One more day of Daniel being home and sick.  I am thankful I didn't have a lot going on this week so I was able to stay home with him most days.  I got everyone else up and out to school and let Daniel sleep in a little bit.  I worked around the house while he relaxed on the couch.  He fell asleep for a while and woke up and was completely better.  Kids bounce back so quick!  I still made him relax, even after his brothers got home from school.  Adrian came home early so I was able to go to the Y to teach my barre class and Daniel could stay home and rest.

After my class was over, we all had a quick dinner together and headed out to one of the elementary schools for their trunk or treat event.  It was super crowded but we still had fun!  The boys were excited to see some of their friends and teachers there dressed up and handing out candy.  After we did the candy loop, we played on the play ground for a little and got in our car just before the rain started.  We got home and let the boys have a little bit of video game time and then got them ready for bed.  When they were in bed, we watched a few things from our DVR and then headed to sleep ourselves.  It's been a long week!
Saturday (10/28) We woke up today to our first snow of the year!  It was just light flurries, but the boys, especially Zak, were all excited to see it.  Since the weather was so bad, Zak's final soccer game was postponed until next week.  I feel like this season is never going to end!  That freed up our morning for a little relaxing and a little work around the house.  Then around noon, Daniel had a birthday party so Adrian took him to Magic Mountain and stayed to celebrate with them.  He had a great time playing with friends from his class in the play area, on the bumper cars and with the video games.  He also won a ton of tickets to add to our collection.

After the party, Adrian got ready for the Ohio State vs Penn State game.  It didn't start out great and it wasn't looking good when it was time to trick or treat in the neighborhood next door to ours.  I had been back and forth about taking the boys but since it warmed up a little and they really wanted to go, we put costumes on and headed out.  Well, Daniel, Zak and I did, AJ said he wasn't feeling that great and wanted to stay home with Dad.  We made it about an hour trick or treating before we all got too cold.  But that was enough time to just about fill their buckets with candy and tour their favorite "spooky" house.  We got home just in time for hot Jets pizza, cold beer and the amazing OSU victory!  It was fun to watch the end of the game while I was thawing out.  The rest of the evening was spent hanging out, watching TV and heading to bed early.
Sunday (10/29) We all slept in again and did not feel like getting moving.  We did a few things around the house before heading out to church together for the second service.  I served in children's ministry and had so much fun having a party with almost 40(!) kids.  Adrian enjoyed the service and we are both super excited about some of the upcoming things at our church.  When service was over, we headed home to have a quick lunch and then bundle up to head out to the corn maze at Lynd's.  However AJ still wasn't feeling well so we decided he and I should stay home while the other three went and solved the maze.  They had fun in the maze, bouncing in the bounce houses and playing in the play area, although it was still pretty cold.
While they were at the maze, AJ relaxed and watched video games in bed while I worked around the house and watched the Jets lose in heart breaking fashion.  It's so frustrating when they don't finish games!  At least Dallas beat the Redskins, which we watched when everyone got home.  The rest of the night was filled with football, video games and finishing up a few things around the house.  We have another busy week on tap and want to try to be as ready as possible.

Monday (10/30) Everyone was healthy so we were finally back to our regular school schedule!  I got everyone up and out and then ran errands for what felt like forever.  I had a lot of grocery shopping and a few other errands to run so I was out until early afternoon.  I came home and put everything away and before I knew it, it was time to do pick ups.  I got everyone from school and then we headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  Adrian met me there so I could rush over to the church to do my other job for the night.  Unfortunately no one who was supposed to be using the church showed up so I ended up finishing early for the night.  I joined the "Secret Sisters" group in my church for the next six months and they were having their first meeting tonight so I was a surprise attendee there.  I picked my "sister" for the next six months and also won a beautiful fall door prize.  It wrapped up early and my friend and I were joking that we told our husbands we would be later and didn't want to go home until after bedtime.  So we went to Starbucks together to catch up and drink some yummy drinks.  I got home just in time to kiss the boys good night & sit down with Adrian and our DVR.

Tuesday (10/31) Happy Halloween!!  I got everyone up and out to school before I headed out to my Silver Sneakers classes.  I wore my new fun shirt and passed out M&Ms to everyone.  We had a fun workout to campy Halloween music.  After class, I came home and did some baking.  I made banana bread for our breakfasts and these cute cupcakes for the kids to have after trick or treat tonight.
When the kids got home from school, it was all I could do to keep them calm and wait until it was time to trick or treat.  They watched some TV, played a little and we all ate leftover Jets pizza.  Finally it was time to get into costumes!  AJ's friend David and his family came over to walk around with us.  It was a little cold but we all survived.  Our neighbors were super generous as always, the kids got a ton of candy and had a ton of fun running around the neighborhood.  When we got home everyone had a cupcake and a piece of candy and we watched a Halloween special.  Then thankfully they crashed and we got them to bed since they have school bright and early tomorrow.
Wednesday (11/1) After a late night, it was a little harder to get up and moving than usual but we managed.  We all got up and out on time to work and school.  After I dropped off the boys at school, I came home to deal with a bunch of stuff around the house that needed to be done.  I finished as much as I could for my sub application, I just need to go to training in two weeks and I should be ready to start working.  I also made a plan for this weekend as we will be having a "no fun" weekend and getting caught up on everything around the house that needs to be done.  The day flew by and before I knew it, it was time to pick everyone up from school.  Zak was very excited to get in the car and show me that he had his first award ceremony today and he got his certificate for perfect attendance for the first quarter!!  We headed straight to the Y for my Zumba class, where I had a fun time working off the candy from yesterday with my students.  After class, we headed home and had a relaxing night at home.  We ate dinner and watched some TV while Adrian was at Bible study.  It was an early bedtime all around, trying to catch up after yesterday.
Thursday (11/2) We did much better getting up and out this morning after a good night of sleep for all.  Everyone got out to school and work and I headed to my Silver Sneakers classes.  After class, I ran a few errands and then came home to start on the massive to do lists for the weekend.  I got a lot done and as always the day flew by.  I picked up the boys from school and got them settled for the night.  I got ready for my Zumba class and got Zak ready for his final soccer practice.  I headed out to class and had a fun time even though I only had 2 people.  While I was there, Zak had his final practice which included a fun scrimmage against his coach's other team (about a year older than Zak's team).  They all had fun playing to a tie and then celebrated with donuts and juice boxes.  When we all got home, Adrian and I had dinner together and then got the boys down for the night.  Then we watched the Jets beat the Bills handily and stayed up a little later than we should.  Thankfully we have a late start tomorrow!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Nov 13 - Nov 19)

What a fantastic food week we had last week!  Everything we made was delicious!  The only not great thing was that I didn't follow all of my meal plan for the week.  But the changes I made were necessary and the meals are bumped to this week so I don't really have to shop until later in the week.  It started with me not wanting to cook last Sunday, so I pushed our at home Chinese meal (Shrimp Fried Rice and Egg Drop Soup) to Monday.  It was a lot of work for a Monday, but it was worth it.  Tuesday night I went out to eat with a friend and then Friday we went out for lunch for a date while the boys were at school and we just weren't very hungry for dinner so we had a smaller meal of frozen appetizers.  Here are a few pictures of our eats for last week:
This week is the last full week that I will cook and meal plan for.  Next week is Thanksgiving and I will cook a big meal for that and then not really cook again until after our Disney trip.  I'm already trying to make sure I'm using up what we have so nothing goes bad while we are gone.  I spent last weekend organizing all 3 freezers and 2 fridges so I know what I have and what I need to use up.  I'm focusing on using up all of the fridge stuff and hope to leave them nearly empty.  And I'm using up a lot of stuff in our deep freeze so that our grocery bills are smaller this month since we're spending a lot of tickets and prep for our trip.  I'll probably do a blog post next week then take a few weeks off.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Sausage & Pepper Rustica - carryover from last week
Tuesday - Creamy Prawn Soup and salad - carryover from last week
Wednesday - Pesto Tortellini
Thursday - Crock Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
Friday - Homemade Mac and Cheese - I'm doubling this recipe and bringing it for a friend who just had surgery as well
Saturday - Thanksgiving with my brother's family.  I believe he's cooking but I need to double check
Sunday - Apple Honey Baked BBQ Ribs

Water Flavor - Orange

Overnight Oats - I continue to experiment with these and am loving it all.  This week I'm using up some of my free yogurts that I have gotten recently from the local stores.  I am making pina colada, blueberry and strawberry rhubarb, all using the original recipe I normally use but using the flavored yogurts.  I'm excited to try them all!  I'm also making these pumpkin chocolate chip bars again because the boys love them!  They have been begging me since we ran out last time so I'll be sure to keep these on our rotation.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/3 - 11/9)

Friday (11/3) Started with getting AJ out and on the bus and then me getting on the phone with Disney to start the planning process for our trip next month.  I couldn't get the boys' tickets to link to my account since my parents bought them but thankfully I talked to a wonderful guy and he got them linked and we got our Fast Passes for our first day in the parks.  We'll be spending Sunday in Hollywood Studios and have passes for Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror & Star Tours.  After getting that taken care of, Adrian headed to AJ's school for his awards assembly while I got the other two boys ready for school.  AJ achieved the A/B honor roll for the first quarter, as did his buddy David.  He was very excited Adrian got to go to the assembly.

I spent the afternoon getting stuff around the house done and before I knew it, it was time to pick everyone up from school for the day.  I picked up AJ and his friend David from school today so they could have a play date at our house.  They did a great job playing together and had a ton of fun!  They played for a while together and then I picked up Daniel and Zak so they could join in the fun.  Daniel was super excited to tell me about his awards assembly today where he won three awards - perfect attendance, all A's and the Citizenship award for being respectful, responsible and safe.  I'm super proud of him and all three boys - they are off to a great start this school year!
 After David left, the boys played for a while and we all had dinner.  Then we finally got back to having family movie nights.  It was Zak's pick and we watched "The Emoji Movie."  The boys loved it, Adrian and I thought it was just alright.  But I'm glad the kids liked it, even Zak sat thru the whole movie.  After the movie, we got the boys in bed and settled in with our DVR.  We caught up on all of our favorite comedies from the past week.

Saturday (11/4) Started way too early when Zak came into our room at 5am.  Thankfully he went back to sleep but he sent me to the couch so I barely fell back asleep before my alarm was going off at 6:30 so I could get up to get our Animal Kingdom FastPasses.  I dragged myself to the computer and logged on right at 7am...and still couldn't get passes for the new Avatar ride.  I did get them for the Avatar river ride, Expedition Everest and Dinosaur so we're excited about those.  I'll keep checking for Avatar until the day we go.  After a few cups of coffee Adrian and I started on our giant to do lists.  This is a work weekend for us since we haven't gotten a lot done at all over the past few weeks with soccer and all of our fun fall activities.

Zak did have his last soccer game of the season since it was postponed last week due to snow.  He had a great time playing and his team won again.  They got medals to finish up the season.  Zak's coach was great this season, we really enjoyed playing for him.  Looking forward to more soccer in the spring, after a long break for the winter!  After the game, we spent the rest of the day doing stuff around the house while the boys played.  Adrian also watched the OSU game, which was depressing since it was such a blow out.  After the early wake up and a lot of work, we called it an early night since we were all tired.  Very productive Saturday for us!
Sunday (11/5) Daylight Savings Time - Yuck!  The boys were up at like 6:45.  Thankfully we went to sleep early last night and were ready to get up with them.  The other nice thing was that we got a lot of time this morning to get stuff done.  My brother and niece stopped by for a quick visit since we had a bunch of things to give to him.  Daniel and Isabelle were super excited to get some time to play together!  The rest of the day was spent doing stuff around the house.  We did finish up everything on our to do lists this weekend - yay!  The downside is that we also made other lists so we will be super busy the next few weekends.  We also got to watch Dallas win today and watch a few things from our DVR before heading to bed early once again to get ready for a crazy week.
Monday (11/6) Back to the grind today, if only for a day.  We got everyone up and out to school on time and I headed out to run errands.  I finished all of my grocery shopping for the week and also dropped off my application at the school district to be added to their sub list for non-teaching positions.  When I was done with my errands, I headed to school to volunteer in Zak's classroom.  I helped some students practice their letters and other practice their spelling.  It was a fun morning and I always have fun seeing the kids.

After that I came home and did a few things around the house and then picked everyone up from school.  Then we headed out to the Y for my Zumba class.  I had a super fun time teaching this class, it was a great group and we were all laughing and dancing for the full hour.  After class we came home and I started working on a fairly complicated dinner, especially for a Monday night.  But I got it done and it was delicious!  After dinner, we hung out for a bit, watched TV and cleaned up from the day.  It was an early night since we are all still adjusting to the time change.

Tuesday (11/7) After one day of school, the boys got a day off of school for a teacher professional day since some of the schools in our district are voting places.  They all slept in and then we got moving to head to my Silver Sneakers classes.  The boys did great sitting in the lobby while I taught my two classes and I had fun teaching my seniors.  After class we headed to Krispy Kreme to redeem the boys' report cards for their free donuts.  Zak was super excited to get his donuts since this is his first report card.  And the other boys are happy to have 6 to themselves and not have to share with Zak.
After a quick stop home for lunch, we headed out to the boys' dentist appointments.  Everyone did great, no cavities all around!  The appointments took a long time so by the time we got home we were all ready to relax a little and then got ready for dinner.  I headed out to meet two friends for dinner and a movie for a Moms Night Out.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Proust and then headed to the movie theater only to find out that Bad Moms was sold out.  So we headed to a bar to get another drink and then called it a night.  The boys had a fun night with Dad, tacos for dinner, video games and board games.  I got home just in time to tuck everyone in and enjoy some DVR time with Adrian before bed.

Wednesday (11/8) We got up and out to school on time again, although it was a close call today.  After I dropped the boys off, I came back home and worked on my to do list.  We have a busy weekend and I'm trying to make sure I stay caught up on what I need to do around the house.  The day flew by and before I knew it, it was time to get the boys from school and head to the Y for my Zumba class.  I had another great group and another great class!  After class we came home and had another awesome and different dinner.  I'm mixing up what we're eating and loving it.  Adrian ate quickly and headed out to his Bible study.  I hung out with the boys, who had a very rough night.  I think the time change and day off yesterday caught up with them today.  It was an early bedtime for them and then I finished cleaning up and watched Survivor with Adrian.  Hoping we have a better behavior day tomorrow!

Thursday (11/9) Another pretty normal day for us.  Everyone got up and out to school and work on time and then I went to teach my Silver Sneakers class.  After class, I ran a ton of errands including my monthly trip to Costco.  I got home and unloaded everything and it was pretty much time to pick up the boys from school.  The temperatures were higher than normal so I was able to walk to pick them up.  I got the kids settled in after school and got ready to leave for my Zumba class.  Thankfully I had set up dinner for tonight yesterday so I didn't have to worry about that.  After class I headed to the Scouts monthly committee meeting where AJ got to play with his buddy David.  We were there pretty late and got home just in time for me to kiss the other kids good night and get AJ settled in for the night as well.  Adrian and I watched a few comedies from our DVR and then headed to bed a little later than usual since he's off tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Keeping Up With...Family Goals (Sept/Oct Recap & Nov/Dec Goals)

As I mentioned in my fitness goals post yesterday, I've been super busy and overwhelmed and haven't had time to updated these goals blogs.  A lot of the past two months have been dealing with things that are "on fire" and immediate and everything else can just wait.  We did set aside this past weekend to catch up on all the things that have slid around the house so I am making the time to update the goals blogs as well.  However, contrary to the fitness goals where I don't plan to do a lot over the next two months, I do plan to focus a lot on these goals over the next two months.
I also suffered a little bit from an identity crisis the past two months.  I have been a stay at home mom for a majority of the past 10 years and have almost always had a child with me when I do things.  Or I'm working around their schedule and using small amounts of time (nap time, TV shows, preschool, etc) to get my stuff done.  Now I have full days free, just about every day.  I also have a ton of things on my radar to get done, a lot of which I've been putting off for months (maybe years).  I had so much to do and so much time to do it and yet I got nothing done.  I finally figured out what was most important and started there.  I kind of wish I had done my Oct post separately.  I bet I would have gotten focused a lot sooner.  But I'm focused now and ready to kick butt the last 2 months of this year.

I have decided to combine November and December because I know I won't have time to update at the end of November since we are going away around that time.  And I'm not sure what I will do for next year, but I am leaning towards keeping monthly goals for both fitness and family.  I'm considering combining them into one post each month.  But I'm not really sure how it will work out.  For now I'm focusing on having a great time over Thanksgiving, our Disney trip and Christmas!

Here's how I did on my goals for Sept (with some Oct updates too):1.  Make progress on "Americanah" and read one other book (1 book in 1 month) - I did make progress on "Americanah" and I'm about 30% done with it.  I also read two books in the two months - "Everything, Everything" and "Bad Feminist."  I also started "BFG" and read 50% before if was due back to the library.
2.  Have family dinner every Sunday night and use AJ's conversation starters during it (4 dinners for the month) - We have really let this lapse over the past two months.  We have had dinners together most weekends but between the boys playing soccer and football being on TV we haven't really been talking.  We do a good job of talking to each boy every day about what is going on at school so we're still talking, but it's not as focused as this.
3.  Continue doing my week in review blog (5 new posts for the month) - I did 5 recap posts in Sept and 2 in October.  I fell behind on the recaps in October and am working on catching up on those this weekend too.  I'm hoping I'll be caught up by the end of this week.
4.  Continue taking one picture each day and posting on Facebook (30 pictures for the month) - I have kept up to date on these and did 30 in Sept and 31 in Oct.
5.  Watch a movie every Friday night (5 movies for the month) - I watched a ton of movies in September but none in October (balance, right?)  In September I saw "Sing," "Space Jam," "Power Rangers" (twice!), "Suicide Squad," "Bad Moms," and "Rough Night."  In October we did go to the movies to see the "Lego Ninjago" movie but didn't watch any at home.  Mostly because we were busy doing fun fall and Halloween events every weekend.
6.  Have one family board game night (1 special night for the month) - We didn't do this at all over the last 2 months, but we've played a lot of board games in smaller groups.  I've played a lot of games with the boys especially in Oct when they had days off from school.
7.  Start deep cleaning the house (3 rooms this month) - Started a few rooms but didn't finish any
8.  Have fun on my retreat and survive Adrian's trip to Dallas - I survived Adrian's trip to Dallas and he had an amazing time.  I had an awesome retreat weekend with my girlfriends and he survived the weekend.

The other things that we accomplished in October that would have been on my goals for the month were that we had a fantastic time celebrating fall and Halloween.  We went to as many events as our schedule allowed and have 4 huge bags of candy to show for our efforts!  We also finished up a very busy soccer season and each boy had a great time playing.  And I finished my sub application and license.  I just need to go to orientation next month and hopefully I'll be ready to start subbing in the schools in December.
Here's what I'll be focusing on the next two months:
1.  Make a little more progress on "Americanah," finish "BFG" and read "The Bell Jar" (2 books in 2 months)
2.  Catch up and then continue doing my week in review blog (9 new posts for two months)
3.  Continue taking one picture each day and posting on Facebook (30 pictures for Nov, 31 for Dec)
4.  Watch a movie every Friday night we are home (6 movies for two months)
5.  Have one family board game night (1 special night for the two months)
6.  Have a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend - enjoying food, decorating for Christmas & packing for Florida
7.  Have an amazing time in Florida
8.  Have a fun and relaxing Christmas and Christmas break
9. Go to the zoo for Wild Lights
10. Take AJ to see "Wonder" in the movie theater
11. Finish my subbing application and paper work and start subbing in the schools

Monday, November 6, 2017

Keeping Up With...Fitness Goals (Aug/Sept/Oct Recap & Nov/Dec Goals)

Did anyone notice that I haven't updated about my goals in a while?  I actually had goals for September and kept track (mostly) of what I did towards those goals.  But September and October were super busy and overwhelming for us.  We had a lot going on and a lot of adjusting to new schedules to do.  With all of that I never got time to sit down and write a full recap and set goals for Oct.  As a result I honestly kind of floundered through October with very little direction, especially in the fitness area.  I decided the last week of October that I needed to get my butt in gear and make a plan and I did, sort of.

It may sound like an excuse, but this time of year is really hard for me (and most people) to focus on their fitness goals.  I have a few holidays plus a trip to Disney in the next 2 months.  But here's the thing, I've gone backwards and gained weight and lost some muscle and endurance.  So I have to do something.  So I decided to do what I can for the next two months and at least stop the backslide.  My main goal is to maintain over the next two months and not let it get any more out of control.  I'm really going to buckle down in the new year and make it a super healthy 2018!

I also couldn't decide what to do about these blog posts.  Should I just drop them and pick them up in the new year?  Should I try to do a Sept recap (since it was mostly done) and then drop it?  Should I try to recreate an Oct post?  Does anyone besides me even care?  I had lots of thoughts about it!  Here's what I decided.  This post will be a recap of the last three months (Aug/Sept/Oct) and a list of goals for the next two months (Nov/Dec).  Then at the end of December or first week in January I will do a post recapping how this year ended and what I'm planning for next year.  I'm not sure if I'll do monthly posts or not.  They were definitely better than annual goals, I had way more focus.  But I know we're going to stay busy so I'm not sure I want to commit to two extra posts each year.  I'll see how it goes and let you know!

So here's how I did for the last three months:
1.  Lose 10 pounds (10 lbs in 2 months) - This went in the wrong direction and when I weighed in on Nov 1, I had gained 5 lbs since the start of Aug.  Blah!
2.  Do measurements at the end of the two months & maintain current measurements (0 inches gained or lost for three months) - I didn't even bother.  I'm sure I'm bigger.  My pants don't fit.  Some shirts don't fit right.  It's not pretty over here.
3.  Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes 55 days these months (55 days for two months) - I'm going to say this was another fail since I exercised 51 days in the three months.  I didn't even hit the goal with an extra month!
4.  Go to ten classes that I'm not teaching (10 classes for two months) - Another fail, although I started out strong.  I took 5 classes - Barre, Aqua Zumba, SS Circuit, Turbo Kick and Zumba with Jaime in September.  But then nothing other than my classes in October.
5.  Learn 3 new songs to add to my Zumba classes (3 songs for the two months) - I actually kicked butt on this one!  I learned and added 7 new songs over the three months - Roxanne, Despacito, Bailando Soca, 24 Hours in the Disco, Candela Pura, Si No Vuelves and Verano.  I also brought back some Halloween favorites - Thriller, Calling All the Monsters, Black Widow and Ghostbusters.  At least my classes haven't been repetitive!
6.  Add a few classes back to my schedule (teach 6 classes/week) - I was able to do this.  I'm up to teaching 3 Zumba classes and 4 Silver Sneakers classes each week plus Barre every other week.  And I subbed a bunch in September as well, which was part of the reason I couldn't get to other people's classes as often.
7.  Use MyFitnessPal to track my meals for 45 days of the two months - Another fail.  I finished with 21 days in August and September and no days in October.  Although I did try to eat healthy a lot more than just those 21 days, I didn't track that so it's not surprising to see the gains on the scale.
8.  Use essential oils to help boost my health & flavor my water - Another one I have kicked butt on!  I have actually done this everyday since mid-August.  I add at least one oil to my water everyday and I think it's helping as I've survived two times of the kids being sick without getting it myself.  Here's hoping I continue to stay healthy!
And here's what I'll be focusing on the last two months of this year:
1.  Maintain my current weight (0 lbs gained in two months)
2.  Do my measurements and maintain where I started this year (0 inches in 12 months)
3.  Learn 4 songs to add to my Zumba classes (4 songs in 2 months) - I plan to do both Thanksgiving and Christmas themed songs
4.  Exercise as often as possible - I know this isn't specific but I want to try to work out just about every day these two months.
5.  Use MyFitnessPal to track my meals for 30 days of the two months
6.  Continue to use essential oils in my water everyday and diffuse them as well to boost the whole family's immunity, especially before Disney

That's all I'll be focusing on in terms of fitness over the next two months.  Come back tomorrow to hear about my family/personal goals for the next two months.  I'm focusing way more on that over the next two months for sure!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Nov 6 - Nov 12)

We did a pretty good job sticking to our meal plan last week, and started eating healthy after Halloween was over.  We had a ton of leftover Jets pizza so we decided to have that on Halloween before trick or treat instead of cooking something.  And I got a great deal on a rotisserie chicken this week so we had that on Thursday with some sides to make the week a little easier on me.  It was really good and nice to have a fully cooked, healthy meal in under 30 mins.  You'll see two meals from last week bumped to this week and a few of our standards as well.

I'm noticing that we truly have a lot more time in our schedule with soccer being over.  Most nights we don't have to go anywhere, we just get home from either school or my Zumba class and we're home.  This week we have nothing at night, it almost feels like a vacation!  We also have a weird week with people being off during the week.  The boys are off on Tuesday because it's voting day and the schools are polling places.  And then Adrian has off on Friday for Veteran's day and the boys have school - date day!  We also have play tickets for Friday night (Waitress) and Saturday night (Midsummer Nights Dream at the high school).  It's going to be a fun week!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday - Sweet & Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash - I have one I need to use
Thursday - Cheeseburger Meatballs and Parmesan Roasted Carrots for the adults & meatball subs for the kids
Friday - Sausage & Pepper Rustica - one of Adrian's favorites when we eat out
Saturday - Creamy Prawn Soup
Sunday - Buffalo Ranch Chicken & Potato Casserole - I will be out most of the day working at the church between service, childcare and facilities manager so I'll set this up and come home to dinner ready!

Water Flavor - Apple.  We have a few old apples that are about to turn so I'll be using them up in my water this week.  A little break from the citrus I'll be doing a lot going forward.

Overnight Oats - I made pina colada flavored oats this week loosely following the recipe I always use.  I got a drinkable Green yogurt as a freebie from one of the stores and went to drink it and it was horrible!  So I mixed that with some oats, chia seeds, syrup and chocolate chips.  I ran out of oats while making it so I'm hoping it's OK.  If not when I get more oats tomorrow I will add some more.  I plan to also make the Chocolate Peanut Butter later this week when I eat what I have and get more oats.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 10/20 - 10/26)

Friday (10/20) Day off from school!!  The boys let me sleep in until after 8am and Zak slept until after 9am.  He's still not feeling great so I think the extra sleep really helped him.  We had a lazy morning of watching TV and video games and playing Beyblade.  Then after lunch we packed up and headed to the zoo to meet our friends and go to Boo at the Zoo.  However we were disappointed to learn that the rides at Jungle Jack's were closed for the season already.  They are apparently remodeling the area so it was all closed off for the construction.

The boys had a great time playing at the splash park with Michael and Daniel while Katie and I caught up for a while.  Then I took AJ and Daniel to the Halloween 4D movie that was playing, Happy Family.  It was really cute, we all enjoyed it.  Zak stayed with Katie and the other boys and explored the aquarium.  When the movie was over, it was time for Boo and the zoo became crazy.  It was super crowded and the lines for candy were really long.  We decided to eat our dinner and then head out.  We tried another trick or treat trail I knew of but that was also jam packed.  AJ and Daniel didn't want to stay so I took them to Menchie's for ice cream.  Zak and Adrian stayed at the trail and had a fun time playing games, collecting candy and enjoying being outside on the beautiful night.  It was a failed attempt at some Halloween fun but thankfully we have lots more opportunities!

Saturday (10/21) We were up bright and early for soccer today.  Daniel had his last tournament this morning and his team won so they finished first in their bracket.  While Adrian was there with him, I took AJ to his game.  They lost to a very good team in a tough game.  Then Zak played and they won big again.  We all met back home after the games and our plan was to go to Creepside but all three boys were really tired, as were me and Adrian.  So we hung out at home relaxing and playing.  Daniel and Zak spent most of the day outside riding bikes and playing with our neighbors.
AJ had one more game this afternoon so Adrian took him to that so I could stay home with Daniel and Zak.  Unfortunately, they lost their final tournament game.  It was a tough tournament for them, the teams were better than them and their coach is overseas on a mission trip so they only have their assistant coach.  AJ had a fun season and wants to play again so we're really happy with the season as a whole.  When everyone got home, we grilled steaks for dinner (possibly for the last time) then got ready to head out to two different Halloween parties.  During dinner we had a big event - Zak lost his first tooth!!  He is so excited for the tooth fairy to come tonight!
After dinner, we started our night at the Jefferson Township Halloween party.  We go every year and it seems to get bigger and more popular each year.  We went and did the Haunted Trail first and all 5 of us made it thru the scary side this year.  Daniel and AJ were a little skittish but we managed to get them thru.  Then we waited to take a hayride thru the trail.  After the hayride the boys played some games and got a few prizes.  We were pretty much done after that so we let the boys play at the playground for a little while and then we headed out to party number two.
We went to a local ice cream shop, Cones N Concoctions, for their trunk or treat event.  It was their first year so I wasn't really sure what to expect.  It turned out to be really fun!  We got there just in time for the costume contest and the boys won 2nd place ($30 in gift cards to the ice cream place).  Then we went around to the trunks they had set up, there was about 15 and the boys enjoyed seeing them.  We finished up with some ice cream cones, which the boys got for free since they were in costume.  When we got home, it was late so we go the kids to bed and then I headed up soon after them while Adrian watched all of the sports that were happening tonight.  It was a long but fun day! 

Sunday (10/22) We were all really lazy when we got up so we decided not to go to first service for church and just have a lazy start to our day.  The boys had some video game time while Adrian and I did a few things around the house that needed to get done.  In the afternoon, we headed to Daniel's soccer celebration.  We enjoyed a yummy picnic lunch with  his team, including the amazing dirt cake that I made.  Then the coach gave out the first place medals to the team.  He had some nice things to say about how Daniel has improved over the season.  Finally we played a parents versus kids soccer game.  I opted to sit out and chat with a few of the other moms while Adrian played in the game.  They all had fun and the parents pulled out a win in the end!

After the party, we headed home to catch up on the football games that we missed.  We watched the Jets lose in a heart breaking fashion, they really tried to lose that game!  And then we watched the Cowboys destroy the 49ers.  While we were watching, the boys had some more video games and we also all grazed for dinner since we weren't super hungry after the large lunch we had at the party.  We finished up the football games and then got the kids settled in bed for the night.  We finished a few things that we needed to do around the house and then watched a few shows from our DVR.  New shows only started a month ago and we're already super far behind!  I'm sure we'll catch up eventually, we always do.

Monday (10/23) We all headed back to school after our long weekend.  I got everyone out on time and then headed to the district office to get my fingerprints done so I can start subbing soon.  I ran a few other errands and then headed into Zak's classroom to volunteer.  I played alphabet bingo with a few of the students and did a few things to help the teacher too.  I also got to see Daniel, he was in the library when I went down to talk to the librarian about my sub application.  It was a fun surprise for both of us!

When everyone got home from school, we loaded up and went to the Y for my Zumba class.  Then we ran home to have a quick dinner and then headed out to Zak's Cub Scout Halloween party.  We had pizza and lots of snacks, played some games and saw the boys in their cute costumes.  It was a fun family night and the boys loved playing all of the games.  When we got home it was late so we got the boys to bed, cleaned up a little, watched a TV show and then headed to bed ourselves.
Tuesday (10/24) Everyone got up and out of the house on time today.  After I dropped the boys off I headed to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  I had packed my lunch so I could go run multiple errands after class.  However as I was on my way to the first one, I got a phone call from the school that Daniel and Zak were being release early because the school had no power.  So I turned around and came home to realize that my house also didn't have power.  I walked up to get the boys and thankfully we all had packed lunches so we ate together in the dark-ish kitchen.  Thankfully about an hour later the electric came back on!
I enjoyed my bonus time with Daniel and Zak, we played a few board games and watched a little TV.  AJ got home and they played while I cooked tacos for dinner for all of us.  Then I headed out to work at the church for a few hours while Adrian took AJ to Cub Scouts.  I picked him up when we were done and got a few things done with people in the pack as well.  We got home late so AJ watched a show and had a snack while the other two were already upstairs getting ready for bed.  We watched a show on our DVR while also checking in on the World Series.  We don't really like baseball but of course are interested in the playoffs.

Wednesday (10/25) We got up and everyone got ready for school and then Daniel told me he wasn't feeling well.  We decided he was well enough to try going to school, especially since he had mandatory state testing this morning.  I told him if he didn't feel well after the test, he should go to the nurse and I would come pick him up.  At about 11am my phone rang and I went to pick him up for the day.  He spent the rest of the day on the couch resting, he has a horrible head cold as well as some stomach issues.  I got the other kids when the day was over and since I couldn't take Daniel to the Y, we had a relaxing night at home.  Adrian came home to have dinner with us then headed out to his small group Bible study.  When he came home, we got the kids to bed and then watched Survivor before heading to bed ourselves.
Thursday (10/26) We were all up ridiculously early today, around 5am.  Daniel wasn't feeling well, Zak was just ready to be up for the day.  I tried to get Dan to go back to sleep in bed with me while Adrian took Zak downstairs to play a game.  He eventually got AJ up and ready for school...but then we missed the bus because he was playing the game with Zak again.  Thankfully since we were both home, he drove AJ to school when it started.  I took Zak when his day started while Adrian worked from home with a sick Daniel so I could go teach my two classes.  I also ran a few errands that needed to get done this week.  Zak's soccer practice tonight cancelled because it was pretty cold so the guys all had a free night and spent the time relaxing, watching TV and playing board games.  I had a Zumba class to teach so I ran out to do that.  We got everyone in bed early tonight since we started our day so early.  Adrian and I caught up on the past 2 weeks of Will and Grace - loving the new version!  Then we also had a fairly early night since we had an early morning.  Hoping for better sleep tonight!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 10/13 - 10/19)

Friday (10/13) One more day of sleeping in while AJ is away at camp.  We got up and got ready and headed in to school for the day.  I was at book fair for one more day and I finished up around lunch time.  I headed home to do a few things and wait for the campers to arrive home.  AJ was wiped out when they got home but he said he had a blast.  He told me all about all of the different hikes and activities they did.  His favorite was the night hike and learning that we all have night vision and how it works.  After telling me all about his trip, he settled in to watch TV and video games since he went 3 days without any electronics.

Adrian and I walked up to pick up the other two boys and then I headed to the Y to teach my barre class.  I stopped to pick up subs and pizza for dinner after class because we had limited time to eat and freshen up before heading downtown for our first play of this season.  We saw "School of Rock" and it was pretty good.  It's not one of my favorites, but it was entertaining and kept me awake.  I thought the kids were really talented, they play all of the instruments themselves each performance.  We had a nice night out and the boys were thrilled to hang out with their sitter for a few hours!
Saturday (10/14) We were up bright and early thanks to Zak decided 5am would be a good time to start our day.  I actually fell back asleep and Adrian said he dozed a little on the sofa as well.  But then the alarm clocks started going off because we had an early (and long) day of soccer planned.  It started with me heading to our home field to fulfill our volunteer requirement in the concession stand.  While I was there, Adrian took everyone to AJ's first tournament game which ended in a tie.  Then they came to our home field for Zak's game.  I headed home so AJ could rest and Daniel could get ready.  Zak scored his first goal, we was even able to beat 2 defenders to do it!  He was super excited to tell me when he got home.  His team won big again, they are having a great season. 
Adrian grabbed a quick lunch and then headed out to Daniel's game.  He played his best game all season and was awarded the sportsmanship award for the game.  He wanted to get a pretzel with it but they were sold out so he got a hot dog instead.  Daniel's team didn't win, but they played a tough game.  They came home and rested for a while and then Adrian and AJ headed out to his second tournament game of the day, which they lost.  AJ played his best game of the season today as well and even though he's still worn out from camping he didn't complain at all about having to play today.

When all of the soccer was over, we all sat down to a dinner of pasta with shrimp and wine for the adults as well.  The boys mostly played and watched video games the rest of the night while Adrian and I worked around the house and watched football.  He watched a few of the early games that were good before we settled down to watch the Buckeyes.  It was a blow out so I was bored early and headed upstairs to bed but Adrian enjoyed watching it until the very end.

Sunday (10/15) We all slept in and started moving a little after 8am.  I decided relaxing and getting a few things done was a better option for me this morning so I skipped the early service for church and just got ready to go to second service to serve in childcare.  Once again when I got there, we had too many teachers so I went to service with Adrian.  It was another great sermon, I'm loving our new pastor and this series!  After church, I headed straight to the other side of town to another YMCA to renew my CPR/AED certifications.  I was there all afternoon, but it's done and I'm certified for another two years.  It was a long day but a good refresher.

While I was there, Adrian took the boys to their last swim lesson of this session.  They all did great, Zak even jumped off the high board.  Then when they got home, they did a bunch of stuff around the house and played some video games.  When I finally got home, we had a quick dinner, got the boys to bed and watched the recorded Jets game.  It was a frustrating game with two bad calls against the Jets, but I'm glad they stayed competitive and it was a fun game to watch.  Just wish they had won!

Monday (10/16) We are back to our normal routine today.  We got AJ up early and out on to the bus.  Then I got the other boys up and ready for school.  I dropped them off, ran a few errands and headed into Zak's school for the morning.  I reviewed numbers with each kid and then did some prep work for his teacher.  When I was done I headed home to get ready for a busy night for me.  I picked up the boys from school and headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  It was a small but mighty (and fun!) class.  Then we rushed home, ate a quick dinner of meatball subs and I was back out to my newest job, facility representative for my church.  I am helping out with after hours events, just making sure the church is opened for them, then locked up when they leave.  So far it's a pretty easy and fun job.  It was a late night for me though, I didn't get home until about 9:30.  We had snacks and watched a quick show before heading to bed for the night.
Tuesday (10/17) We got up and out on time again today.  Only two more days of getting to school on time for Daniel and Zak to have perfect attendance for this quarter.  Daniel (and I) have been working hard for this award!  After I dropped everyone off I headed out to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  Then I ran a few errands and ran home to eat lunch and prep dinner.  I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon and it was super nice to go there alone (it's the little things).  The visit was made better by the fact that my teeth look great and I'm supposed to keep doing what I'm doing.

After the dentist, I ran home to get the boys from school and then loaded them up for a pediatrician visit for AJ.  He had both his annual well check and his 3 month med check.  Everything looks great and I was again told to keep doing what I'm doing.  He talked more to the nurse than he ever has before, she was really impressed with him.  After the appointment, we ran home and I got ready to head to work at the church again.  It was jumping tonight and I had a fun time chatting with some of the other church members who were there.  While I was there, Adrian dropped AJ off to Cub Scouts where he learned about Native Americans.  When everyone finally got home, we got the boys to bed and then Adrian and I watched a few comedies from last week and headed to bed ourselves.

Wednesday (10/18) We got out to school on time again today, one more day for perfect attendance!  It was wear your clothes backwards day so Zak and Daniel enjoyed getting dressed this morning.  After I got everyone out, I came home and spent the day working on my application to be a sub in our district.  It took a long time but I got just about everything done today.  I'm waiting for my license from the state and then I will upload that and submit my application.  Then I have orientation, employment verification and a background check to do early next month and then I should be ready to go.  In between doing that, I got a bunch of stuff done around the house and talked to my mom.  We are starting to make plans for our trip to Disney in December and we're all getting excited for it!

After I got everyone home from school, they had some time to relax and play before eating a quick dinner and heading out to Daniel's first soccer tournament game.  Unfortunately Zak has a bit of cold/runny nose so I stayed home with him and AJ while Adrian took Daniel to his game.  It was a pretty exciting game, they won in overtime with penalty kicks!  They continue on in the tournament now, playing again Sat morning.  The rest of the evening we just relaxed, watched TV and headed to bed early.  I'm hoping Zak is OK when he gets up tomorrow, we have a field trip to go to!
Thursday (10/19) Everyone got up and out again on time today, including me who was going to school with Zak for his field trip.  It was his first ever field trip and we went to Pigeon Roost with all of the kindergarteners from his school.  We had so much fun!!  We rode on the school bus, learned about pumpkins, ran all around the play area, did a ninja obstacle course, got lost in the corn and spent time with 7 other boys from Zak's class.  When we were finished, we got to pick a pumpkin and take the school bus back to school.  The only downside was that Zak has a bit of a cold so he wasn't as into it as he normally would have been.  But he still had a great time!

After the field trip I was exhausted so I came home and relaxed before picking everyone up at the end of the school day.  That means that Daniel and Zak got perfect attendance!!  They are both super excited, they'll get their certificates in about a week.  Then we had a quick dinner of homemade macaroni and cheese before I headed to Zumba and the guys headed to Zak's and Daniel's soccer practices.  We all met up back home when we were done and watched "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and "Toy Story of Terror" together.  We let everyone stay up a little later since there is no school tomorrow.  I made sure to turn off our alarms!